The Gift of Team Clock

Published: December 17, 2015

This is the time of year when businesses are looking for creative ways to thank their most loyal clients for their patronage. While a fruit basket aptly sends a message of gratitude, it falls short of communicating an investment in continued partnership. A few imaginative companies have taken a less conventional path to say thanks. Might this approach fit your customer relations strategy?

“We would like to express our appreciation for your choice to do business with us by investing in your organizational health. As such, we have funded a simple team wellness package on your behalf. You will be contacted in the near future to coordinate a team effectiveness online assessment, training workshop, and action planning session. This wellness package comes at no cost to your organization other than the hours you devote to participation. We’re confident you will enjoy ample return on the investment of these hours.”

As you might expect, the typical first reaction to the gift is, “On whose dime?” The giver then repeats the description of the gift and clarifies the authenticity of the intent.

“We are interested in maintaining a long term relationship with you and believe this investment will enhance your organizational strength. Because we share similar missions and values, shared team wellness can only strengthen our partnership over time.”

The business then deploys one of their pre-purchased packages of assessment, training, and action planning facilitated by a certified Team Clock® consultant. The recipient identifies the members of his or her “team” and they devote fifteen minutes to a brief online survey. The organization then arranges a professional development workshop to train their employees in the basic principles of team effectiveness. Once the survey metrics are analyzed, the leadership team participates in a debrief session where targeted actions are aligned with business goals.

Growth and change ensues. The recipient thanks the giver for the investment. The gift lasts considerably longer than the fruit basket.

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst University where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.